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Lee Ann Ruby
REALTOR®, Associate Broker
Serving Metro Richmond
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Articles Tagged "Goochland"

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August
30

What to Know About Credit Scores Before Buying a Home

Credit Score Tips

Credit scores have long been a mystery to homebuyers, in both how they are determined and how they matter in the long run. Most people think that if you pay your bills on time, you'll have a good score, but our real estate agents can tell you that there is far more to it than that. But while the exact formula used to determine your score is not public knowledge, you still have a great deal of control over it. Here's how you can optimize your credit score and qualify for a mortgage with a good rate.

  • Monitor Your Credit Activity
    Federal law requires that you be able to access your credit reports once each year, free of charge. Ignore all the ads you see for quick credit repair and go to the federally mandated site: annualcreditreport.com. Run one report from TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian. Each will have the same information and will vary by only a few points. Check for any item that is not accurate. Such items could be fraudulent use of your name and Social Security number, debts that were paid but still show open, or items older than seven to ten years. A single negative item can drop your credit score by a hundred points or more!
  • Pay Down Your Debts
    You may think that paying the minimum balance on time each month will mean you have great credit, but it's important that you don't use close to your limit. You never want your debt to exceed 30 percent of your total credit available. Carrying a monthly balance on a card does not increase your credit score. Paying it off each month does. Many people with high credit scores use one card each month for convenience in tracking expenses, then pay off the entire balance each month. Not only does this practice support a healthy score, but it also eliminates interest payments.
  • Don't Chase Credit
    Retailers often lure buyers with special deals if they apply for a store credit card. Credit companies consider the length of time the card has been open, lowering scores for new cards. Be particularly careful when purchasing a car, as multiple credit checks can also indicate poor financial health. Apply for additional credit with as much consideration as you use when considering a major purchase. This is an example of a hidden cost.
  • Maintain a Healthy Credit Mix
    Maintaining a few credit cards and paying them off each month will help your overall score, but the scoring model also looks at car loans, cash loans, and mortgages. Making your payments late on any of these, even by just a few days, can really damage your credit score. Just because you make your payment before a late fee is applied, that doesn't mean "on time." Use auto-draft options if you have trouble tracking payments to avoid being late. 
  • Understand How Your Score Affects Your Rate
    Mortgage companies offer different interest rates for different credit scores. While you may be able to qualify for a $300,000 home with a credit score of 620, that could mean an APR of about 3.962%. The same loan to a buyer with a credit score of 800 may have an APR of about 2.373%. The difference over 30 years is $93,611!

If you're considering Richmond homes for sale, be sure to contact us for help navigating the mortgage process. 

August
9

Pay Attention to These Things When Your Neighbor Lists

Neighbor Selling

Has your neighbor recently listed their home? After you spot that for sale sign, this is an opportunity to find out more information about your neighborhood, your competition, and even your own house. Here are five things our real estate agents recommend you check out, especially if you plan on listing your home in the near future.

  1. Who is listing the house? 
    Is it someone who specializes in your neighborhood, for instance? It might not be a bad idea to have a conversation with your neighbor's real estate agent. See how well they know the area and if they have any recommendations.

  2. How similar is their home to yours?
    If you've never been inside your neighbor's house, go to the open house or ask if you can schedule an appointment. Another option is to view the listing photos online. If you do attend the open house, while you're there, consider features such as square footage, floor plan, number of rooms and bathrooms, and how updated their home is compared to yours. Taking a look around can tell you whether your home is comparable to theirs, so you know whether you can use their final sale price as an indicator for what your home might be worth.

  3. What does your home look like from a neighbor's point of view?
    Before you go into your neighbor's house, stand on the walk and look over at your house. Try to view it as a prospective buyer or a neighbor would. Take a look at your house from the neighbor's windows and backyard, too. What would you think about your house if you were a homebuyer visiting your neighbor's home? 

  4. How does the sale go?
    Continue tracking the listing, and note important details such as how long it takes to sell and what the final sale price is. If it sells within days, for instance, now might be an excellent time to list your home, too. If it takes weeks or months to sell, on the other hand, it might benefit you to wait out the slow market and list once home sales in your area pick up more.

  5. Is this an opportunity to work together?
    If you were about to list your own home, consider whether your neighbor's listing is an opportunity to work together. Rather than viewing your neighbor as competition, for instance, consider the ways in which your homes are different. You and your neighbor could use the same agent or encourage your agents to work together. Not all Richmond homes for sale are the same, and your two homes may have important differences that set them apart and make one or the other more appealing to specific buyers.

Whether you're thinking of selling soon or just biding your time, your neighbor's home sale can provide a wealth of information to help with your decision. If you're interested to learn about selling in your Central Virginia neighborhood, contact us today, and one of our experienced agents will talk to you about what you can expect when listing your home for sale.

August
2

Late Summer Blooms: Gardens Around Central Virginia

Gardens in Richmond

Central Virginia is always in full bloom when late summer rolls around. It's a season our real estate agents look forward to all year! Our local farms and gardens are bursting with life this season, and we're thrilled to share these great places to see the colors and taste the flavors of the season.

  • Agecroft Hall & Gardens - 4305 Sulgrave Rd, Richmond, VA 23221
    A splendid Tudor manor house and estate overlooking the James River, Agecroft Hall & Gardens offers splendid scenery in the heart of Richmond. It has several unique gardens, and the Shakespeare Garden is especially not to be missed, with its historic 1920s fountain tucked away among the boxwood trees. Agecroft Hall's beautifully manicured gardens have earned it a place on the Richmond Garden Trail, which includes some of the most picturesque sites in the city near these Richmond homes for sale

  • Fresh Branch Farm - 13801 N Ivey Mill Rd, Chesterfield, VA 23838
    There's always something new growing and something fun to explore at Fresh Branch Farm. You-pick sunflowers are always a highlight of their summer season, and visitors can pick their own blooms from vast fields of towering sunflowers. They're usually in full bloom by August. Located just minutes from many Chesterfield County homes for sale, Fresh Branch Farm also offers grass-fed Piedmontese beef shares and fresh eggs from their large flock of free-range chickens.

  • Lavender Fields Herb Farm - 11300 Winfrey Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23059
    If you're in Virginia in June, be sure to stop at Lavender Fields Herb Farm to see their 200 lavender plants in full bloom. But if you're planning a visit later in the summer, rest assured that there's still plenty to see at this lovely farm just outside Richmond. They offer dozens of herb, vegetable, and fruit crops that are seasonally available, and many of their specialties, like lavender ice cream and lavender lemonade, are available throughout the warmer months. You'll find them just a short drive from these Glen Allen homes for sale, among the rolling hills of Henrico County. 

  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - 1800 Lakeside Ave, Henrico, VA 23228
    Spanning more than 50 acres, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a prime destination to immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural world. With more than a dozen themed gardens, including the Rose Garden and Cherry Tree Walk, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens offers something special in every season. Late summer visitors can delight in finding the roses, daylilies, hibiscus, gardenias, and sacred lotus in full bloom. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is located a stone's throw from these Henrico homes for sale, just outside Richmond. 

  • Going for Green Farm - Merchants Hope Rd. Prince George, VA 23875
    Bring home locally grown flowers when you stop by Going for Green Farm. Sarah is the owner and "chief flower grower" who started her business near Prince George homes for sale. Be sure to check out their schedule for farmers markets they'll be attending with their locally grown sunflowers and other late summer blooms. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Central Virginia, and be sure to ask our real estate agents about finding your dream home in Richmond and the surrounding areas.

June
28

Play Volleyball in Central Virginia This Summer

Volleyball RichmondIf you're into volleyball or would like to start playing this popular sport, summer is the perfect time for it. From indoor courts to ones that are situated on sand, Central Virginia has plenty of places to play. 

Our real estate agents suggest trying out the following places to play volleyball in Central Virginia this summer:

  1. Glover Park – 11217 Greenwood Rd., Glen Allen, VA 23059  
    Glover Park, an 88-acre athletic complex in Henrico County, has 8 premium sand volleyball courts. The sand is washed, screened, and well rounded, and you can play doubles or fours or sixes on the courts. And if you'd like to watch some serious players in a tournament, the Richmond Volleyball Club hosting tournament play in July and August, as well as a tentative date in September. You'll also find plenty of free parking and a restroom building at the park, which is located near Glen Allen homes for sale.

  2. Huguenot Park – 10901 Robious Road, North Chesterfield, VA 23235
    Located just around the corner from Chesterfield homes for sale, Huguenot Park has 2 volleyball nets located near the picnic shelters. One is 80 feet from Shelter 1, and the other is 50 feet away from Shelter 2. And while you're at the park to play volleyball, take time to see the azalea garden and walk the fitness trail in this flat, heavily wooded park that attracts birds and small animals you'll enjoy seeing.

  3. Central High Cultural and Educational Complex – 2748 Dogtown Rd., Goochland, VA 23063
    The Central High Cultural and Educational Complex is a versatile space with indoor and outdoor public recreational amenities, including an auditorium, a museum with historical exhibits, and more. The Center, located near Goochland homes for sale, also has a quarter-mile walking track, soccer field, and volleyball courts.

  4. Deep Run Park & Recreation Center – 9900 Ridgefield Parkway, Henrico, VA 23233  
    You'll find plenty to do at Deep Run Park & Recreation Center, located within a beautiful park near Henrico homes for sale that's complete with ponds, walkways, and playgrounds. Open Gym activities include badminton, pickleball, and volleyball, and you can play any of them for free by picking up an access pass at the recreation center. Volleyball for ages 35 and up is also scheduled for on Tuesdays from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. throughout the summer. And if you're into bicycling, check out the Center's deep run pump track, where you can shift your body weight to maneuver your way around the track.

  5. Humphrey Calder Community Center – 414 North Thompson St., Richmond, VA 23221  
    Play volleyball at the Humphrey Calder Community Center sand volleyball court, and bring the kids along to burn off their energy on the playground. And if you're into other sports, the Center, located near Richmond homes for sale, has basketball courts, soccer fields, and more recreational opportunities. You can also participate in some of the many programs and classes offered, including crafts, computers, games, and self-improvement.

Contact us to learn more about the abundant recreational opportunities and other amenities that make Central Virginia a great place to live. Our agents are ready to help you find your dream home! 

February
22

DIY Tips for Your Home Library

Richmond Home Library

A home library is a great way to add a touch of elegance to your home while showing off your books. Plus with so many wonderful bookstores around Richmond, it's no surprise if you've accumulated quite the collection! 

Whether you're looking to convert an entire room into a library or just simply looking to set up a reading nook, our real estate agents pulled together a list of tips to help you create your own DIY library.

  1. Choose The Right Location
    The best location for your library is largely dependent on how much space you have available. It's also somewhat contingent on the size of your book collection. Those with a lot of space to spare and a lot of books may want to convert an entire room into a library. If you're looking to display a small number of books, consider placing them under a staircase or on a living room shelf. With a couple of bookshelves and a comfy chair, you can also convert any bedroom or living room corner into a cozy reading nook.

  2. Arrange Books By Color
    Organizing books alphabetically can create a stuffy look. Instead, why not arrange your books in a more creative way? Grouping books by colors can really create a vibrant look, especially if you have a lot of bright covers. You can also consider arranging them by size, or by separating horizontal rows with vertical stacks.

  3. Comfortable Seating is a Must
    Figuring out how to display your books is only one component of creating your own library. You also need a comfortable place to sit. Whether it's a big couch or your favorite recliner, be sure to add a comfortable surface, so you can curl up with your favorite read.

  4. Make Sure There Is A Table Nearby
    A good table is a key part of any library. If you've transformed an entire room into a library, try to add a long center table to the middle of the room. If your library is more of a reading nook, a smaller end table can add a nice touch.

  5. Add A Ladder
    Nothing creates a library vibe quite like a ladder attached to floor-to-ceiling shelving. If your library is big enough, definitely consider adding a rolling ladder into your library design, so you and your visitors can reach that top shelf book.

  6. Optimize Your Lighting
    Your home library shouldn't be in a dark area of the home. If your bookshelves aren't getting enough natural light, consider adding additional lighting fixtures at the top of each shelf so you can easily read the titles. You'll also want to make sure there is adequate lighting for reading so you don't have to strain your eyes.

Looking for the perfect home among the Richmond homes for sale to display your book collection? We're here to help!

For more tips on interior design or help finding your dream home, contact us today!

December
28

Fireplace Safety Guide to Follow This Winter

Fireplace Tips

One of the best ways to warm up this winter is to curl up by the fireplace with a good book. A fireplace adds a cozy touch to your home in colder weather, but if it's not maintained and used properly, it can pose a fire hazard.

Our real estate agents suggest the following fireplace maintenance and safety tips you need to know this winter:

  1. Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned annually
    Creosote and soot – byproducts of fires that aren't burning efficiently – can build up and coat the inside of your chimney. Once this happens, these substances can catch fire. To prevent this from happening, call a professional to clean and inspect your chimney before using it this season.

  2. Take care of ashes properly
    After using your fireplace, take care of the ashes properly, so a smoldering one doesn't start a fire. Don't vacuum them up because live coals can still remain and could cause a fire in your vacuum cleaner bag. Instead, remove them from the firebox by using the ash dump or scooping them out from the firebox once the ashes are cold. 

  3. Use a non-flammable rug
    Buy a non-flammable rug – which you should be able to find at a fireplace supply store – to put in front of your fireplace. That way, if sparks fly out, they won't damage your carpet.

  4. Protect your kids
    Never leave a fire unattended if you have children in the house. Now's the time for them to learn to stay away from the fireplace as well as the tools you use for it.

  5. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
    Make sure you have enough working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. This will help your family stay safe in case of a fire or if there's a buildup of carbon monoxide – an odorless, clear, and tasteless toxic gas. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly, and their batteries should be replaced annually.

  6. Your fireplace should have a door
    Make sure your door has a tight-fitting door rather than a screen. A door will keep sparks inside the fireplace, while a screen may let some escape.

  7. Check the flue or damper
    Before starting a fire, check your damper or flue to make sure it's open by looking up into your chimney with a flashlight or mirror. It should remain open to let smoke out of your house, so keep it that way until all the embers have stopped burning.

  8. Use wood that's dry and well-aged
    Avoid using wet or green wood in your fireplace. These woods cause more smoke and make more soot build up in your chimney.

  9. Keep the area around your fireplace clear
    Keep all flammable items – including draperies, newspapers, and furniture – away from your fireplace. If they get too close, they could catch fire from a sparking ember.

  10. Never leave a fire unattended
    Never fall asleep or leave your home with a fire burning, even if it's just for a brief moment.

  11. Keep a window cracked
    If you can, leave a window slightly cracked when you have a fire going. That way, you'll be keeping the room ventilated and give any smoke or gasses a chance to escape.

Contact us today at Napier ERA if you're interested in Richmond homes for sale. If a fireplace is on your list of must-have items for your new home, we can show you houses where one or more fireplaces creates a beautiful focal point.

November
30

Try These 5 Painting Tips From the Pros

Richmond Painting Tips

Nothing livens up a room quite like a fresh coat of paint. If you're getting ready to list your home for sale, or just simply improving your living space this winter, painting a room can have some major benefits. In addition to improving aesthetics, paint also prevents dust build-up and keeps out moisture. While painting a room is a relatively simple home improvement project, there is a good bit of skill required. If you're getting ready to paint a room in your home, consider these 5 tips from our real estate agents.

  1. Properly Prepare Your Surfaces
    Painting before properly preparing and inspecting your walls is a common mistake. If you want a perfect coat of paint, your walls should be as smooth as possible. Take the time to sand rough spots, fill cracks and holes with putty, and thoroughly clean your walls prior to painting. Wash any greasy spots with soap and water. Remember, painting over a dirty surface can result in premature peeling. 
  2. Maintain a Wet Edge
    Applying wet paint over partially dry paint can result in lap marks or uneven layers. The trick to avoiding lap marks is maintaining a wet edge. In other words, always be sure your roller overlaps with the previous stroke before it has a chance to dry. You'll want to make sure you're always painting an entire wall at once. Simply move the roller up and down the height of the wall, while slightly moving over with each stroke. Also, reload your roller frequently so it doesn't become dry.
  3. Protect Your Baseboards From Drips 
    Masking tape can go a long way towards helping to keep your trim safe from dripping paint. Be sure to clean any dust or dirt from your trim or baseboards before applying the tape. Then, simply apply the tape over the edge of your baseboard and press it against the wood with a putty knife. We recommend using tape that is at least twice as long as the trim.
  4. Buy Quality Supplies
    The quality of your paint, brush, and roller can have a major impact on the quality of your finished product. Cheap materials might be appealing, but using them may result in you having to repaint sooner than you expected. Good paint is easier to apply and it lasts longer. Also, good paint often requires fewer coats to get the job done, which can ultimately save you money.
  5. Wash and Wrap Your Rollers
    Always wash your roller before using it. Excess fluff or fibers can stick to your wall while you're painting, so it's best to rinse your roller off before you begin. Simply place the roller under running water and move your hand up and down to remove any extra fluff. Once you're done for the day, use a plastic bag to securely wrap your roller and brushes, especially if you're planning to paint more the next day. This will help ensure your materials don't dry out overnight. 

It takes practice to become a seasoned painter, but by following these tips you can be well on your way. Plus, a new coat of paint is a great way to impress potential buyers! Contact us today for more tips for getting your home ready to list among the many great Richmond homes for sale

September
3

Celebrating National Virginia Day - Richmond Suburbs to Check Out

Celebrating National Virginia Day

Ask any long-time resident, and you'll hear the many perks of shopping for Richmond homes for sale. There's so much to love about living in the city, and Richmond's many great suburbs. The area has been growing at a rapid pace, including the diverse suburbs surrounding the town. National Virginia Day, takes place every September 14 and is the perfect excuse to see what Richmond's suburbs have to offer. Our real estate agents know Richmond, and we've got the details on 3 of the city's best suburbs to call home.

Richmond Suburbs to Check Out for Your Next Home

  • Midlothian Is a Popular Place to Settle Down and Scale-Up
    Whether you're looking for luxury real estate or the perfect place for a family, Midlothian homes for sale have something for you. Midlothian is one of Richmond's most affluent suburbs, with a strong median household income and a huge selection of high-end properties. Midlothian ranks among Richmond's most popular suburbs, located in Chesterfield and a short drive west of the city.

    The scenic, tree-lined streets of Midlothian provide a peaceful backdrop for life in the community and continue to maintain their small-town charm even as the suburb expands. This historic community dates back to the 1700s. It's a great spot for lovers of history. Midlothian is also located close to key highways and interstates, so you'll have no trouble reaching any destination.

  • Why Glen Allen Is a Favorite Spot for Families
    Looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood with tons to do? Glen Allen, located in northwest Henrico County, is one of Richmond's fastest-growing suburbs. The area has been developed extensively in recent years, offering many places to shop, dine, and enjoy entertainment. Some of your favorite national chains have locations in Glen Allen, and there's sure to be more as this neighborhood grows.

    Families love Glen Allen homes for sale, because the area is safe, has strong schools, and features fun for all ages. Many of the homes in this suburb are located in new housing developments, featuring tons of amenities for residents. Glen Allen's proximity to the city makes it easy to experience all Richmond has to offer and explore the other vibrant suburbs.

  • Country Living Close to the City in Goochland
    If you want to enjoy the perks of living near the big city without giving up the joys of country living, then Goochland homes for sale might be for you. Located over 30 miles west of the city, Goochland offers all the benefits of small-town life, with large, open properties, plenty of outdoor space, and a tight-knit community. Find a home on a large acreage, or shop in one of many suburban residential developments.

    This suburb is especially popular with anyone who loves equestrian activities, with loads of horse farms and horse-friendly properties available. When you're in the mood for urban adventures make the quick trip to Richmond to explore.

Ready to get serious about shopping for a home in Richmond's suburbs? Our team is here. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the area.

July
8

5 Donation Centers in Central Viriginia

Donation Centers Around Central Virginia
July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.  People across the country observe this day by donating items to organizations to help others.

If you're like many of us, you might have a bit of clutter around the house. Why not use National Give Something Away Day to clear the excess--especially if you're getting ready to sell your home?  Our real estate agents are here with donation centers in and around our Richmond communities to visit on National Give Something Away Day.

  1. Boots to Suits, The Hamilton Professional Building, 710 N. Hamilton Street, Suite 200, Richmond VA 23221
    Just around the corner from many Richmond homes for sale, Boots to Suits is a great place to donate gently used clothes for men or women. This non-profit organization works to provide veterans, both male and female, with appropriate job interview clothing to help them look and feel their best as they seek employment during the transition from military to civilian life.

  2. Caring Clothes Closet, Shady Grove United Methodist Church, 4825 Pouncey Tract Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059
    If you're selling or buying one of our Glen Allen homes for sale, donating to Caring Clothes Closet is a great way to observe National Give Something Away Day. This all-volunteer organization provides clothing and comfort bags to families and children in need and is always looking for donations of gently used clothing for children and adults.

  3. Goochland Cares Free Clinic and Family Services, 2999 River Road West, Goochland, VA 23063
    Goochland Cares is a community organization that works to provide health care and basic human services doe Goochland residents. They welcome donations of clothing, food, and household items to help meet the needs of their clients.  Make sure to drop by Goochland Cares when you're touring our Goochland homes for sale.

  4. Housing Families First, 3900 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, VA 23223
    As you're searching for Henrico homes for sale, one donation center to consider is Housing Families First. This organization works to provide support for families experiencing homelessness and welcomes donations of clothing, furniture, and household goods to benefit the families they serve.

  5. Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, 1211 Alverser Dr, Midlothian, VA 23113
    The Alverser Drive Goodwill Store is a good donation center to locate when you're searching for Midlothian homes for sale. You can donate a wide range of items at this location, including clothing, furniture, household items, electronics, computers and much more.

When you're ready to buy or sell your home in one of our nearby communitiescontact us at Napier ERA. We're here to help.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/01/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/01/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CAAR MLS (last updated Wed 11/30/2022 11:10:27 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Thu 12/01/2022 1:07:40 AM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Wed 11/30/2022 10:54:30 PM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Wed 11/30/2022 10:26:40 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Wed 11/30/2022 8:50:19 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Napier Realtors ERA may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --


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